Greencastle-Antrim Primary students jump into the record books

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
These Greencastle-Antrim Primary School students were the top fundraisers in Jump Rope for Heart. Named in order from fifth place, are, from left: Eva Martin, Alex Belden, Justin Kessler, Elica Schaeffer and Kiersten Swain. Kiersten collected the most funds, $615, for the American Heart Association.

Primary school students jumped their hearts out, and became the number one fundraising school in Pennsylvania in their category. American Heart Association Youth Marketing Director Nicole Swansinger told the excited youngsters March 23 that they raised $34,960.16.

“You are truly my favorite primary school,” she said during the assembly to celebrate the annual Jump Rope for Heart results.

Their championship status was a repeat from last year.

Students at each grade level received recognition for their efforts. The classrooms with the highest participation rate were: kindergarten, Karen Wickham; first grade, Jennifer Wilhide; and second grade, Jennifer Rebuck. The first graders of Megan Coldsmith raised the most money of any classroom. They brought in $1,926.50.

The program has been coordinated by wellness teacher Tricia Schriver. She guided the students through the theme “It takes heart to be a hero.”

She praised the children. “You rocked it. You care so much about other people.”

Schriver has been in charge of the program for the past six years, and will be retiring from teaching this summer.

“I will miss the GAPS kids so much,” she said. “This is such a compassionate and generous community. Our kids get so excited for this project. JRFH is a lot of work, but it is all worth it at the end. Seeing the kids so excited and the discussions we have, that is what I am going to miss the most.”

Donations to the AHA and American Stroke Association are used for research, education, professional training and community services. The mission is to build a healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.